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What’s Experiential Marketing and Why Is It Important to Restaurants?

When it comes to restaurant marketing, sometimes the best strategies are ones that don’t follow the norm. To make a significant impact and leave a lasting impression, you have to give customers a unique experience, something that they can remember and keep them coming back for more. That’s where experiential marketing comes into play.

Experiential marketing is a type of marketing strategy that allows you to connect with your customer base on a very personal level. If done right, you can make loyal patrons out of any of your customers. Let’s take a look at what experiential marketing is all about, and how you can use it to improve your restaurant’s exposure.

What is Experiential Marketing?

Before we get into the finer details, let me explain what experiential marketing is. Basically, experiential marketing involves having your customers experience your brand firsthand. Otherwise known as engagement marketing, experiential marketing focuses on letting your customers immerse themselves in your product or service. Experiential marketing could also be used to get feedback on your product directly from your potential customers.

A good example of immersive experience is when The Simpson’s Movie was being promoted back in 2007. The studio responsible for marketing the movie partnered with 7-Eleven and turned some of their convenience stores into Kwik-E-Marts, which was the shop ran by one of The Simpson’s side characters, Apu. This marketing strategy didn’t stop there. The Kwik-E-Marts also stocked items from the beloved cartoon series, and you can even see full-scale cardboard cutouts of characters from the movie.

Why is Experiential Marketing a Must-Strategy for Restaurants?

This sort of marketing strategy works well with restaurants because by default, restaurants take advantage of people’s senses that rarely get any attention from other industries. This includes sight, taste, and smell. This is exclusive to restaurants and presents a fairly unique approach to experiential marketing.

As someone who manages a restaurant, you can approach your strategies in different ways, such as how you present the food, or even how you treat your customers. The ambience inside the restaurant could also be a vital tool that can help you out.

Ways You Can Use Experiential Marketing in Your Restaurant

1. Exclusivity

Everybody wants to feel special, so one way to do experiential marketing is by providing them with exclusive dining experiences. A good example of this is by adding secret items to your restaurant menu. That way, only your most loyal costumers who put the time to get to know your brand gets to be rewarded by a food item that not everyone gets to try. 

2. Collaborate with Other Brands

Another good way to improve your brand’s exposure and have a good relationship with another brand is by creating a collaboration between the two of you. You can create collaborative menu items, which can help expand both brand’s and customer bases. This is one marketing strategy that can be mutually beneficial when done the right way.

3. Free Samples

Food itself is a great tool for experiential marketing, and this strategy is no better used than with free samples. Not only are you giving your customer’s taste buds a hands-on experience, you’re also giving them a feast for their eyes, and also their noses. Free sampling can help give your customers a general idea of what type of food you offer long before they even decide to enter your restaurant.

While you’re shaking up your experiential marketing strategy, why not try expanding your digital menu reach as well through piatto.io? You won’t regret it.